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Old 04-26-2007, 10:05 AM   #1
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Snails and Algae - easy questions

Hi everyone,

I have a 15 gallon tall planted tank with 40w CF for lighting. I have a small CO2 system on it as well. The good news is that my fish seem healthy and my plants are growing nicely. I do have two slight problems that I'd like your input on though:

1. Snails. This wasn't a problem for a long time, but they're starting to get big and there's getting to be more and more of them. I know that Clown Loaches would take care of this problem in a jiffy, but the tank is only 15 gallons. Do other loaches eat snails too? Is there a more suitable loach for a 15 gallon?

2. Algae. My algae problem isn't bad, and it's my understanding that algae haunts every planted tank at some point or another. I think the algae problem really got started when I was lazy about replacing my CO2 when the reaction ran out of fuel. It's the fuzzy green algae, and a pain to get rid of - but not nearly as sticky as black beard algae. I've had good luck with true Siamese Algae Eaters in the past, and thinking about getting a couple more. However, I'd like to fix the problem that's causing the algae rather than treating the symptom.

I'm looking forward to your responses! Thanks!
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Old 04-26-2007, 10:20 AM   #2
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Get yourself a couple of yoyo loaches. I have 2 in a 15 gallon, they will not get to big and will clean out your snails in no time. They also won't dig up your plants. Loaches should be kept in at least pairs, if you keep one by itself it will pine away.

You are correct, algea is in every planted tank, even the best maintained ones. You learn to live with it, clean it off as soon as it appears to keep it at bay. Keeping on top of your ferts and C02 will keep it to a minimum, but you will always get some.
It probably snuck in when your C02 levels got low, getting rid of it can be a pain once it gets established. What ferts are you dosing and how often? Your N03 may be bottoming out. Do you have test kits to check fert levels? A little more info and we can help you deal with your algea issues better
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Old 04-26-2007, 11:35 AM   #3
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The best way to reduce your snail population is to feed them less. This may mean reducing the amount that you feed the tank and/or making sure to clean as much algae and dead leaves out as possible. For quick removal use a lettuce leaf overnight, and then remove leaf and pile of snails in the morning.
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Old 04-26-2007, 01:00 PM   #4
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Take a soda bottle cap (or anything similar) and string it with fishing line - add some sinking pellets, let the snails swarm it, then remove it....
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Old 04-26-2007, 06:58 PM   #5
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Thanks!

I'll pick up some yoyo's.

I have water testing for Nitrites and Ammonia, but no Nitrates. What other test kits do I need?
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Old 04-26-2007, 07:24 PM   #6
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The recommended test kits for a planted aquarium are:
Ammonia
Nitrite
Nitrate
Phosphate
pH
KH/GH

The pH and KH test kits are mainly used when injecting CO2.
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Old 04-26-2007, 07:59 PM   #7
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Seachem makes the best Phosphate test
Aquarium Pharma fro the Nitrate

If you have the $$, the Milwaukee PH controller is only $80....then if you ever go pressurized, it's one less thing to buy.
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Old 04-27-2007, 08:46 AM   #8
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Purrbox nailed all the kits you will need, If you read this sticky "Resources and References" at the top of this page, it will tell you all you need to know about using the kits and what fert levels to shoot for. Keep us posted.
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